Labor asks Liberal to kick the habit

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Federal opposition have said that they will not oppose plain packaging for tobacco after the government had accused them of accepting tobacco donations. This comes after three Liberal backbenchers have asked the party to oppose tobacco donations. Labor MP Steve Georganas told Neos Kosmos he supports plain packaging as the branding on cigarette packaging is marketed to and targets young people. “In Australia we have very strict laws when it comes to the advertising of tobacco products. You can’t advertise on television, you can’t advertise at the cinema, you can’t put up billboards – there is a whole range of things. “The only marketing tool that tobacco companies have left to market to new clients is the brand, the brand name and the packaging. If you take that away, the last bit of marketing at their fingertips to try and get new clients and their new clients are who? Young people. Older people like me are giving up in their droves so it’s their only marketing tool to young people sp if this prevents young people from taking up smoking of course we should all be behind it.” Liberal MP Alex Somlyay said 15,000 Australians dying a year from smoking related conditions should be reason enough for his party not to accept donations from tobacco companies. Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbot told a press conference in Canberra that the Liberal party didn’t change their position as they don’t have a position on plain packaging because they haven’t seen the legislation. “We will seek to amend the legislation to ensure that it really does bring smoking rates down but if our amendments fail we won’t be opposing the legislation because we really are committed in opposition as we were in government to try to bring smoking rates down,” said Abbott. This issue is very close to Georganas, as a former smoker who gave up seven years ago on World No Tobacco Day and is asking the Liberal party to “kick the habit” of collecting tobacco donations. “We are calling on them to support our legislation of the plain package tobacco products and not to accept donations from the big tobacco companies,” said Georganas. “The whole purpose of this legislation is to take away the last bit of marketing that tobacco companies have left to entice young people to become addicts of tobacco.”last_img read more

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